Simon Moore's book "The Legendary 2.3" mentions on page 700 that 2311218 was completely restored by Peter Giddings, John de Boer and Phil Reilly (after Peter Giddings bought the car in 1983). I would guess that, if any pictures of the car's history in Venezuela exist, one of these 4 people may have copies of them (Let's hope John chimes in!).
Hi Jorge, yes, it's nice to touch base a again after so many years.
I should also have added Cris Bertschi to the list of people who may have pictures (or who can point to people who have them) -- his knowledge of cars in South America seems to go far beyond cars in Argentina.
I have many fond memories of 8C2311218 as it existed during the 1980's into the 1990's in California. Some historical mysteries remain even as I can also be quite certain that it is a wonderful piece of history that has not yet communicated all that happened to it, whether in Venezuela or whether in Italy before going to Venezuela.
8C2311218 deserves patient study ... and to be enjoyed for what it is. It is a great car that no longer has all of its original parts. This is not surprising for a car that is now more than 80 years old and which has perhaps done more racing in the last thirty years than it did in its first thirty years.
I sat in on a conversation with Robert Ford, the Californian purchaser who was living and working in Venezuela. There was no mystery to him. He bought the car under some interesting circumstances that he related. He remembered what he remembered and told us his story. A wonderful story!
I am one who studies all sorts of numbers in all sorts of cars. Chassis numbers. Frame numbers. Engine numbers. Assembly numbers. Numbers assigned to accessories and/or components assigned by outside suppliers to Alfa Romeo ... and others. But, I do not study only numbers! And, once again, my studies are not limited only to Alfa Romeo. Sometimes, we can learn something about an Alfa Romeo by learning something about an Abarth, a Ferrari, a Siata and/or a Cisitalia.
It is true that I like to think that numbers, when enough of them are collected and studied, will eventually suggest some possibilities as to what happened during production and perhaps even during historical usage of a car. "Suggest some possibilities" is not indicative of a belief that other studies should cease merely because some sense of "possibility" feels good based on some numbering that is not fully understood!
8C2311218 has a good number of components that are marked and numbered in ways that seem perfectly (or potentially) "original". The chassis itself has some discrepancies that cannot yet be explained. I recall that, in 1984/85, one chassis rail seemed to have suffered different weathering/rust-pitting/ageing than the other. Was this because one side of the chassis frame was exposed to weathering elements that the other side was protected from for a certain period of time? Was a rail changed at some point? Are there metallurgical differences? Was there a stamping error? I cannot be certain even when I can say I have my own ideas as to what seems "probable".
I think that 8C2311218 is a "great car" that wants to be studied carefully and unhurriedly ... with the understanding that additional information may not be found easily. If it can be found at all! Sometimes we need to be satisfied with "what is", regardless of any mystery remaining. And, it may be necessary to study some other cars a bit in order to reveal possibilities as to why 2311218 is the way that it is.
I will enjoy seeing 8C2311218 again one day, regardless of any lingering mysteries. And, it may be that seeing it again may reveal something that I did not see when I saw it while working on it? When I next visit them, I will have a look in my files to see if something "new" (or old) might be made of data already in hand. If so, I will share my thoughts.